Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Moments That Take Your Breath Away

Last night, as I was driving, I heard George Strait's "The Breath You Take" and I was brought to tears. It's not the first time I've heard the song based off the quote but after the hardships of this year, it struck a chord. I remember when I first heard the quote, before the song, I assumed it was talking about the good times. That in our living we should be focused on those beautiful moments in our lives, our wedding day, the birth of our children, certain milestones, good memories and while those sentiments are true there are equally bad moments that take our breath away. That thought clicked in my mind as the song came through my radio. The struggle has been real and while the birth of a child nearly 9 months ago was breathtaking in a beautiful, miraculous way, the loss of a child three months ago was breathtaking too, in the gut wrenching, heartbreaking way. Both moments have equal value in my life. One good, one bad. Both moments shape and define my life, who I am and who I'll be in the future. Yes, breathing indicates life. If we weren't breathing we'd be dead. But the proof that you're truly alive is in the moments that define us, however breathtaking they may be.

In the midst of grief, it is hard to see the good. And I for one, am annoyed when people gloss over your pain with trivial statements, however well meaning they may be. Yes, life goes on. Yes, you will get through it. Yes, you can try for another baby. But when your breath has been taken away by pain and loss, those words can seem heartless and cruel. In these moments in life, people just need a listening ear, a good deed,  an assurance that they are not alone in their suffering. When the burden begins to lighten and they begin to breathe again the memory of that pain won't be an oppressive darkness. There will be light there and in times of remembering that pain, they will see that they didn't walk alone. And that breathtaking moment won't be so hard to bear.

I find myself in this place. I realized recently that had my baby been able to live, I would know the sex, possibly have a name picked out. I would be planning and buying and rejoicing. But those things aren't happening. Yes, it's incredibly sad. There are days when grief sneaks up and slaps me around but I can look back on that breathtaking moment and know that I'm alive and I didn't walk alone and that gives me joy amidst the pain.

My life won't be defined by how long I live but how well I lived, through the good and the bad.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Whole 30: Week 2 Review

Week two of the Whole 30 is under my belt and I've moved into week three!!!

Excuse the exclamation points. I'm really excited! :)

The physical results that I'm seeing are wonderful. It's tough not knowing what the scale says but feeling and seeing the results are just as good. Clothes that were fitting tightly and were almost unwearable a couple of weeks ago fit well or are loose now. While my stomach has a LONG way to go before it's truly flat, it is much flatter today. My skin looks great. I've always had pretty good skin, on my face at least, but over the past couple of months I had been having pimples and patches of dry skin near my mouth and chin. This was something I've never really experienced before. As a teenager, I had the occasional pimple but nothing when any sort of regularity. I'm pretty confident this was due to the poor eating habits I was following.

The sleep is amazing! I'm a person who constantly battles insomnia or if I do fall asleep quickly, I have a problem staying asleep. I either wake up a dozen times during the night or wake up and stay awake for a couple hours before being able to fall back asleep again. Not so since I started the Whole 30. It's amazing that foods can affect your sleep patterns so much. I never would have guessed. I'm sleepy by 9 PM and fall asleep quickly. I was strictly a 11 to 12 PM girl, every night. I still wake up once, but it's usually not long after I've fallen asleep. I'm not sure why I'm doing this but it happens almost every night. I have no problem going back to sleep and then I'm dead weight until morning or the baby cries. The sleep just might be my favorite change so far.

The second week was much easier than the first. The first was hard because I was just learning what things to eat and trying to figure out how to make meals that didn't include dairy or beans or grains. I had bad detox headaches and struggled to eat enough some days. We are enjoying all the meals we eat. We are eating good foods. It seems hard to cut out so many things that are staples in much of our diet but once you get the hang of it, you find yourself not missing them. Well at least not too bad. For example I made Paleo chili last night for supper. My normal chili includes lots of beans and then is topped with cheese and sour cream. We eat Doritos along with our chili. I was unsure of how I was going to like this chili as it had no beans and I couldn't include my favorite toppings. Holy cow! It was amazing and I've found a new favorite chili topping...diced avocado! Seriously, it's so good! I will say that of everything I can't eat, I still miss cheese the most.

I have to restart week 2 of C25K as I did not finish it this week. I'm disappointed but there were several things that happened out of my control, one of which was a thunderstorm during my normal run time. I don't want to do what I normally do and give up all together, so I'm hoping for a better week and being able to get my runs in like I'm supposed to. I enjoy running in the evening by myself, I absolutely HATE using the jogging stroller but I may have to switch to mornings after my oldest gets on the bus. The jogging stroller needs some work done, so I need to get the hubby on that.

Speaking of the hubby, he cheated! Last week he had...PIZZA!!! I literally wanted to cry when he told me. Not because I was upset that he hadn't been able to truly finish the Whole 30 but I was jealous! Ha! I love pizza! Like, I could eat it three times a week and not get tired of it. In his defense, with his job there are times he is unable to come home for lunch and he had already had to compromise for breakfast because he was busy. I normally make us eggs of some sort but because he wasn't able to wait for me to make them he had a Larabar and almonds that morning. No one he works with was able to leave for lunch and someone ordered pizzas for everyone. I kid him that he could have scraped the toppings off and not eaten the bread and cheese. He's not beating himself up about it because he was really doing this to support me. He isn't starting over as the Whole 30 says you should but he is continuing to eat the way I eat and trying his best to not have to cheat again.

The one thing that I forgot to do that I wish I had of done at the beginning was to take my measurements. I had every intention of doing them and just forgot but just looking at the way my body is now, I know the measurements would show a pretty good loss. So, if you are thinking about doing the Whole 30 yourself, please take your measurements on day one, you're going to want to know the difference.

Has the Whole 30 been hard? Yes. It takes a lot of preparation both physically and mentally. It does get easier and it's so worth it.

"A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there."

Move out of your comfort zone and see what grows...or in this case, shrinks!

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Whole 30: Week 1 Review

I honestly can't believe that it's already been 7 days since I officially started my journey. You know sometimes, how  you start a diet, and it's horrible and you're miserable and time just seems to drag on? Well, the Whole 30 is not like that. You are filling your body with good food, with good fuel, and it feels good. The first week went by so fast!

Yesterday was the last day of my Jillian Michaels detox drink. The combination of the Whole 30 with the drink was great for my body. I can already notice some subtle changes and I like it. Today is the first day of just drinking plain water and I actually miss the detox drink. I think I'm going to continue to add a bit of the pure cranberry juice and lemon juice to my daily water. I really liked that.

My husband "cheated" and weighed himself yesterday. In one week he was down 7.5 pounds. I thought that was pretty awesome. I'm not going to lie, the scales tempt me. They are in our downstairs bathroom and I have to see them multiple times a day. I should take my friends advice and just lock them in a closet. I came very close to weighing today. I know I can see and feel results but I want a number! Ha!

I also finished week one of C25K and started week two yesterday. Last night's run was hard. Mainly because at 8 PM it was still 93 degrees outside. Also because the amount of running increased with the new week. I saw today that there is going to be a 5K at Fort Polk the beginning of September. I'm thinking about signing up even though I won't be completely finished with the C25K program. I'll run what I can and walk the rest.

The week went by fast but not without some challenges. Number one was the detox headache. Pretty much since I started on the Whole 30, I've woken up each morning with a pounding headache. It usually lasts for a few hours. About day 3, I had a terrible headache that lasted all day. At one point, I went outside and couldn't hold my eyes open because the pain was so bad. I'm honestly not sure if the morning headaches are due to detox or because I am sleeping incredibly hard at night. I've been going to sleep a bit earlier at night, not by much, but earlier is earlier, right? Normally, I can't fall asleep and once I do, I can't stay asleep. This week, however, once I'm asleep, I'm practically dead! That's how hard I'm sleeping at night. Love the sleep, not the headache so much.

Secondly, I found it hard to eat enough some days. There were a couple of days where I ate really small amounts and just felt like I was full and just had no desire to eat. I'm not sure if that's a mental block I was putting up or what was going on but I know to get the most out of the Whole 30 I need to eat and eat well.

Lastly, I took my daughter to a birthday party last night. It didn't start until 5 PM and since that's close to dinner time, I figured that it would be better to cook our dinner meal earlier in day. I had planned a steak dinner for us that night, so we instead had a late steak lunch. I figured I'd cook up a quick meal of scrambled eggs or something for dinner when we got home. I took a baggie of raw cashews with me in case I got hungry and so I would have some sort of defense against all the foods I knew would be there and would derail my progress. As soon as we walked in the door, the smell hit me. I knew it was going to be hard but I also knew that I hadn't done all this work for nothing. Luckily the mom is a friend and knew from my Facebook that I was doing a "diet" of some sort. I was glad for that because I felt like I would be offending her by not eating any of the food she had taken the time to prepare. I actually felt strong up until it was cake time. Birthday cake is my absolute favorite. I love regular birthday cake and vanilla ice cream! But the kicker wasn't the birthday cake. After the cake was brought out and the candles blown out and happy birthday sang, I heard these words, "hand me the other cake." WHAT? There were two cakes???? This one was chocolate with chocolate icing and what looked to be chocolate ganache. OH. MY. GOTCH! I quickly texted my BFF and was like, "There are TWO cakes!!! I need to get out of here!" I also told her that I really wanted to put my face in that cake and wallow around in it for a bit! Hilarity by text ensued and I got a few weird looks, especially when I snorted really loud. Oh well! Thank you Stephanie for helping me keep my sanity and my diet in tact! I love you!

That was the first time I felt a real craving or temptation during the week. I felt awesome sticking to my plan and not getting derailed when I so easily could have. We didn't get home until 7:30. I was hungry even though I ate my cashews. I also hadn't done my run for the day. I can't eat after I run. Even an hour and a half later is pushing it. I almost lost my supper a few nights ago doing that. I knew that if I didn't go run first, I wouldn't run at all. Begrudgingly, I changed clothes and headed out. I was glad I did. After a quick shower, I made a fast egg salad thanks to my hubby boiling some eggs for me while we were at the party. I basically mashed up three eggs, added a bit of salt, pepper, smoked paprika, hot sauce, and mustard. I scarfed it down along with the last of my detox water and crashed on the couch.

Tomorrow starts week two. I'm excited. I did my grocery shopping yesterday and I feel prepared for the week. Abigail goes back to school on Tuesday and so starts the getting up early. I am not a morning person, so please be kind to me if you see me this week. I will probably be struggling!

I'm off to bake some kale chips for the week.

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Getting Started

It feels good to be focusing on myself again.

I've started trying to make a few small changes leading up to tomorrow when I officially start day one of my Whole30 challenge. The last few days have been filled with research, planning, grocery shopping, prepping, writing out my goals etc. For the past week, I've been eating smaller meals, not necessarily focusing on nutrition, but portion size. So from the get go, I'm already down a few pounds. Yesterday, I started day one of the Couch to 5K running plan. For those of you who have been following my blog for the last few years will know that this is not my first time doing the plan. I have successfully completed it twice and have stopped and started it several other times. I wish I could say that I've been a constant runner since finishing the program but for some reason, I haven't stuck with running at all. But I am a believer in it, because I know it works. This time, I downloaded the free C25K app which still tells me when to start and stop running but allows me to access my own playlists on my phone. I won't be blogging much about the running since I've already done that in the past. I will say this though...man, is it ever disappointing to struggle at doing something that your body used to be able to accomplish with no problem. I felt like I was dying yesterday doing day one. I wanted to beat myself up mentally because of it but negative self talk wont help me in any way so I'm just going to let it go and continue on.

Today, I'm implementing one other part of my Project Me plan...the Jillian Michaels Detox Drink. The purpose of the drink is to help you shed extra water weight which we all know means more frequent trips to the bathroom. From what I've read, you can lose up to five pounds in the seven days. My initial plan was to do this drink last week, a week before I started the Whole30 but because one of the ingredients is a little hard to find and I ended up having to order it online, I didn't receive it in the mail until Friday. Since I had already bought the stuff, I figured I would do it anyway. You are not supposed to weigh in after the first day of the Whole30 until it's over, so I won't be able to tell you if I lost the 5 pounds the first week or not but I'm sure I'll be able to tell you more about how it worked for me and what it was like. I posted a picture of my jug of water over on Facebook this morning and have already had several of you ask for the recipe so here it is...

Jillian Micahels Detox Drink

64 oz purified water
1 bag of dandelion root tea
1 tbs pure cranberry juice
2 tbs lemon juice

The dandelion root tea was the ingredient that was hard to find. I'm sure if you have a local health food store or a nice supermarket you may not have the problem I did finding it. I ordered mine from Amazon. To make the drink, fix your tea according to the package. Once it has cooled pour it in your container. Add the cranberry and lemon juice and top with remaining water. I made my drink last night so that it had time to be completely cool before consuming it today. That's it. Now, you drink one 64 oz container of your drink every day for seven days. I made two jugs last night and my hubby and I are both drinking on them today.  He's along for the ride too. He's supposed to let me post his results at the end of the 30 days as well.

You may be wondering how it tastes. It tastes like tangy lemon water to me. Not bad at all. You don't have to be on a restrictive "diet" to do the detox drink but it makes sense to eat as well as you can and to exercise along with it to get the most out of it. 

Tomorrow starts my "official" journey. I'm excited to be focusing on not just losing weight but my health again as well. You'll find me here on my blog for most of the 30 days, staying accountable and letting you all know how it's going. Join me?

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,